Game of Thrones has been known to omit a character or two (read: dozens) from its adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire book series, and in most cases, the justification is obvious enough -- no show, no matter how faithful, is going to hit absolutely every single note from its source material. If there’s one member of the ASOIAF missing persons roster who Game of Thrones fans seem especially convinced will come in and join the fray (or Frey, as the case may be) before this show comes to an end, though, it’s Lady Stoneheart.
Many fans hoped Lady Stoneheart would make an appearance before the end of season 6, but now that 'The Winds of Winter' has aired, we know that wasn't in the plan. But is there still hope for Lady Stoneheart to make way into the show in the final two, abbreviated seasons?
Game of Thrones director Mark Mylod (who helmed episodes six and seven from the latest season) weighed in on the matter in an interview with IGN, saying that in all of the conversations he’s had with co-creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, Lady Stoneheart has never entered the creative picture.
“I’m not in the writers room, and I can honestly say, hand over heart, that I have not had one discussion about Lady Stoneheart. So, I have no idea what’s going on in David and Dan’s mind,” he said, before clarifying that he tries to make a habit of not trying to explore too much about the future of the show in order to keep focused on what he’s working on within it:
"As a director, working with those actors, it’s important for me to stay focused on the present and find that emotional truth in the moment. And I don’t mean that as a dodge in this. I’ve genuinely had no discussions about Lady Stoneheart, so I genuinely couldn’t comment about whether that might or might not be in their minds for the future.”
For those unfamiliar with the name, Lady Stoneheart is the vengeant zombie version of Catelyn Stark (portrayed in the series by Michelle Fairley) from the books who is revived by Beric Dondarrion and joins the Brotherhood Without Banners so that she can rain down some much-deserved vengeance on everyone responsible for the devastation to her family. Stripped of all sense of mercy, her second life’s mission is singular: Destroy every enemy she had as Catelyn Stark, starting with House Frey, the site of the Red Wedding massacre at which she was murdered (after being made to watch her son, daughter-in-law, and unborn grandchild violently slaughtered, no less).
With the return of Walder Frey (David Bradley) in season 6, many speculated that Lady Stoneheart would make her big entrance this season as well to deliver some overdue justice, especially since the show confirmed Beric Dondarrion’s resurrection wasn’t a one-time thing vis a vis Jon Snow’s revival. She was ultimately a no-show, though. Instead, Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) seemed to sub in as the emotionally hardened, bloodthirsty revenge-seeker as she artfully and viciously dismantled Walder Frey and his heirs at long last.
Of course, Mylod's comment doesn’t foreclose the possibility that the character is being or has been discussed by the show’s execs outside of Mylod’s purview. He’s one of many directors cycling in and out of the show, so, as he mentions, his particular episode storyboards might not require him to know about any plans.
However, combined with the fact that Arya seems to be carrying the torch and finally finishing off that kill list of hers by avenging all of the world’s crimes against Stark & Friends right now, and that David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have indicated that they may be done putting new pieces on the proverbial game board that is this show, it doesn’t look good for the Lady Stoneheart enthusiasts in the crowd just yet.
Game of Thrones will return to HBO for season 7 in the spring of 2017.